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South Carolina disability benefit programs.

South Carolina provides services to individuals with some form of disability. All of the financial assistance, job programs, and other resources targeted at meeting the often fairly unique needs of these residents. There is help for people with a physical or mental disability in South Carolina. Find how and where to get help below.

The main organization that oversees the programs is the Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, however other government as well as non-profit agencies are below. Department of Disabilities and Special Needs also partners with other federal government, state and local service agencies to coordinate resources. Some examples of the assistance offered can include transportation, housing, home care, programs to meet medical needs of the disabled and much more. All DDSN programs will be high quality.

Get financial aid, grants, and cash assistance in South Carolina

Direct financial assistance may be available to help families pay for the cost of any care needed in order to keep the disabled individual in their own home. Funds are available in South Carolina to pay for specialized equipment, transportation, child care expenses, recreation, and other home care type needs.

Some so called summer services may also qualify for financial aid. This is for households in which the family member with a disability attends activities selected by their parents or maybe the person themselves. It can pay for a number of programs such as summer activities and traditional camps to individualized activities.

Some of the other statewide financial and monetary type programs that can benefit the disabled include section 811 housing vouchers, food from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and low income energy bill assistance. This low income energy bill assistance program (LIHEAP) gives prioirty to the disabled and elderly when applying. Not many of these are offered to all qualified low income residents, but priority may be given to the disabled. Learn more on how to apply for LIHEAP in SC.




There are several components to the states Individual/Family Support Services. The goal is to help individuals with disabilities to continue to live in their community and homes. Some of the programs include the following.

  • Free medical care, including from mobile community clinics or government resources such as Medicaid or Medicare.
  • Transportation programs for the disabled, which can provide a free ride to the doctor, store, or appointments.
  • Additional grant programs for the disabled to help them meet their at home needs.

Housing is offered by Community Intermediate Care Facilities/Intellectual Disability (ICF/ID) Residences. These locations offer a community living option to those who need support for their disability. This is more for extreme cases. The program will offer high twenty-four-hour care, training, supervision, recreation and other activities.

Help for caregivers, children with a disability and other resources

Respite services provide short term, temporary care to individuals who are the caretakers. This will allow that caregiver, or maybe the entire family, to handle any of their own personal situations, emergencies or maybe just take a much needed break. Respite care may be provided by DDSN and their partners in a qualified caregiver’s home, individual/family home, regional center or other locations in the state.

Children under 6 may benefit from early intervention. This is a family-focused, in home service. A specialist helps families understand their child’s development. They will also work with the parents to create an Individualized Family Service Plan.





Genetic evaluation, counseling, and treatment services are an option for families at risk of having a child with a disability or for those families in which a confirmed developmental disability has occurred.

Individual Rehabilitation Support Services may be able to help people develop an improved capacity for self-direction, independence and participation in local and community wide activities. Supports offered by Department of Disabilities and Special Needs include interventions intended to develop or restore functional abilities, personal identity, responsibility and self-direction. This assistance is offered in the person’s own home and community.

Day Services for Adults are also coordinated by Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. These are often offered in partnership with local DDSN providers and service coordinators. Some example of what may be offered includes adult activities, supported employment and center based work programs in local South Carolina towns and communities.

Another option is the Regional Residential Centers. These will provide 24-hour care, supervision and treatment to the state’s most fragile consumers. This is an option of last resort and is generally only offered when other community services, housing resources or other government aid is not available.

South Carolina job, career, and employment programs for the disabled

Job opportunities are offered for the disabled as part of supported employment. The state provides assistance to help individuals with finding and sustaining employment in their area. This will further help people earn wages and provide them with opportunities to interact with non-disabled workers. Supported employment in South Carolina includes programs such as mobile work crew, enclaves, and job coaching.

Job coaches will work with a disabled client to develop employment opportunities, including at government funded workforce development centers. They will work closely with participants on a one-to-one basis to teach them the skills necessary to maintain and perform a particular job. Additional assistance is also provided by the coach in order to help people develop job-related skills such as interpersonal skill development, money management, credit repair, and use of transportation. There are many free job training programs in South Carolina.

The enclaves program provides work for adults at a business. Participants work on-site. These jobs often lead to competitive employment.

Some employment may be offered as part of the mobile work crews. These will train people to work in their community and perform services such as landscaping services, lawn care, or janitorial work.Residential services are widely offered in South Carolina. There are several different versions and components of it, as follows.

  • Community Training Homes, or CTH, offers disabled people the opportunity to live in a homelike environment under the supervision of staff.
  • The states Supervised Living Programs provide adults with needed support in order for them to live in duplexes, apartments or single family housing. As part of this program, supervision and other support services are tailored to the disabled person’s needs.
  • Some people may qualify for personalized residential care, supervision and individualized training. These services are provided for no more than four people living in a home.
  • Caregivers are coordinated by Department of Disabilities and Special Needs. They are highly trained and will offer care in their own homes or one that is rented by a provider organization.







Further South Carolina disability resources and programs

The South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs is based in Columbia. The main phone number is  1-888-376-4636.

The Arc of South Carolina
3214 Leaphart Rd Suite C
West Columbia, SC 29169-3005
Phone number: (803) 748-5020

The Brain Injury Association of South Carolina
P. O. Box 21523
Columbia, SC 29221-1523
Toll free number is (877) TBI-FACT

Learning Disabilities Association of South Carolina
Address is 521 Lakeshore Drive
Chapin, SC 29036

The Lieutenant Governor’s Office on Aging
1301 Gervais Street, Suite 350
Columbia, SC 29201
(800) 868-9095
The main resource is the Family Caregiver Support Program. The organization can help arrange support for caregivers. This includes unpaid family caregivers for a disabled or frail adults 60 or older. Assistance is also for relative caregivers that are responsible for raising a child that is to them related through marriage, blood or adoption. Benefits can also be offered for unpaid family caregivers for someone with neurological disorder or Alzheimer's. Receive information about local services and supports, counseling, respite care and other services which may be provided for free to qualifying participants.

National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater Carolinas Chapter
Main address is 3101 Industrial Drive, Suite 210
Raleigh, NC 27609
Dial (919) 834-0678





Paralyzed Veterans of America, Southeastern Chapter (including South Carolina)
4010 Deans Bridge Road
Hephzibah, GA 30815-5616
Call (800) 292-9335

South Carolina Association of the Deaf
Address is 437 Center Street
West Columbia, SC 29169
Primary phone - (803) 794-3175

South Carolina Autism Society
806 12th Street
West Columbia, SC 29169
Phone number to dial for information is (800) 438-4790

South Carolina Brain Injury Leadership Council
100 Augusta Street
Greenville, SC 29601
Call (864) 455-2626

South Carolina Commission for the Blind
Location: 1430 Confederate Avenue
P.O. Box 2467
Columbia, SC 29202
(800) 922-2222

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs
PO Box 4706
Columbia, SC 29240
(803) 898-9600

South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council
1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 461
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 734-0465

South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs, Head and Spinal Cord Injury Division
PO Box 4706
Columbia, SC 29240
(888) 376-4636

South Carolina Department of Education
1429 Senate Street
Columbia, SC 29201
(803) 734-8500

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, Medicaid
P.O. Box 8206
Columbia, SC 29202
Toll free number is (888) 549-0820

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, Children with Special Health Care Needs
2600 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: (800) 868-0404

South Carolina Department of Mental Health
2414 Bull Street
Columbia, SC 29202
Phone number is (803) 898-8581

South Carolina Department of Social Services
P.O. Box 1520
Columbia, SC 29202-1520
(803) 898-7601

South Carolina School for the Deaf & Blind
355 Cedar Springs Road
Spartanburg, SC 29302
Dial (888) 447-2732

South Carolina Statewide Independent Living Council
Location - 136 Stonemark Lane, Suite 100
Columbia, SC 29210
(803) 217-3209





South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department
1410 Boston Avenue
P.O. Box 15
West Columbia, SC 29171-0015
(800) 832-7526

The Spina Bifida Association of the Carolinas
Telephone: (336) 587-7006

University of South Carolina School of Medicine, Center for Disability Resources
8301 Farrow Road
Columbia, SC 29208
Call (803) 935-5231 for information

United Cerebral Palsy of South Carolina
1101 Harbor Drive
West Columbia, SC 29169
(803) 926-8878

University of South Carolina School of Medicine, South Carolina Interagency Office of Disability and Health
Address: 3209 Colonial Drive
Columbia, SC 29203
Main phone number is (803) 434-3189


By Jon McNamara

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